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    EU disburses 250 million euros in macro-financial assistance to Jordan

    November 26, 2020
    finance & economy

    AMMAN — The European Commission, on behalf of the EU, on Wednesday announced the disbursement of 250 million euros to Jordan under a macro-financial assistance programme.

    Ambassador Maria Hadjitheodosiou, the head of the European Union Delegation to Jordan, on Twitter, said: “Today's disbursement of €250 million demonstrates EU’s commitment to continue providing political and financial support to Jordan in these challenging times and supporting government reforms and efforts in securing a stable and stronger economy for the benefit of its entire population.'

    The 250-million-euro amount is the first batch of a 700 million-euro payment that had been approved by the EU for Jordan, the Jordan News Agency, Petra, reported.

    The European Commission has also disbursed assistance to Georgia and Moldova, Petra added.

    Jordan and the EU in September had signed a soft loan agreement and a memorandum of understanding worth 700 million euros.

    The financial aid granted by the EU, at a total value of 700 million euros, was scheduled to be provided to the Kingdom in three batches: The first, at a value of 250 million euros, was expected in October, while the second 250-million-euro batch will be granted during the first quarter of 2021, after achieving the related indicators of the second tranche.

    The third installment of 200 million euros is also expected during 2021, and it is to be disbursed after the completion of the related indicators of the third batch.

    Then-Minister of Planning and International Cooperation Wissam Rabadi had said at the time that the soft financing loan would be provided on 'very lenient terms', at a competitive interest rate and a long repayment period of an average of 15 years.

    He had added that such processes would require the European Commission to borrow from the international capital markets on behalf of the European Union, and to provide assistance to its partners at the same rate of interest set on the day of issuance of the bonds or on the date of receipt of the bank loan.

    He stressed that the concessional funding and the memo will support a range of reforms adopted by Jordan in priority areas, including public finances, through measures to develop the electronic billing system for sectors or professions, and the adoption of regulations to enforce the Public-Private Partnership Act, as well as increase transparency and efficiency of public investment projects through the establishment of a national register.

    They will also contribute to increase 'transparency and efficiency in the public procurement system' through operating the electronic bidding system, along with reforms aimed at reducing water waste and introducing smart meters, among other goals, the statement said.

    The European Council and Parliament approved a 500-million-euro soft loan to Jordan in January 2020, which was raised by 200 million euros in May 2020 in response to measures against the COVID-19 pandemic, bringing the total amount to 700 million euros.

    The EU is one of Jordan's main donors, as its assistance has contributed to the implementation of programmes and projects in important sectors, as well as provided support to the public budget, besides allowing Jordan to address the economic cost of hosting Syrian refugees, as well as addressing the repercussions of the coronavirus epidemic.

    jordantimes

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